A close relation of mine is on his deathbed and I am earnestly praying that his soul will be saved (as I pray for my own too).
However, I'm seriously worried. I cannot judge this man, I don't know how religious or not his parents were, he is a baptized Catholic, but since his youth he has not attended Mass, he has not prayed, he has committed serious sins, whether he knew they were grave or not, I don't know, but in his life he has been what I can only describe as a bit of a hellraiser. As I said, maybe his upbringing meant he was unaware of how serious his sins were, but now he is near death I want him to be saved, regardless of his past life, as I want my own soul to be saved at the end.
So my question has two parts, he is in and out of conciousness at the moment, but when unconcious he was given the Last Rites, he couldn't speak, he was apparently sleeping, but the sacrament was administered to him. Is this enough on its own? And what if in his heart he is unrepentant - does the absolution given at the end "count"?
If not, my second question is:
I am good friends with a very understanding priest who would have no hesitation if I asked him to go in and ask the man when concious if he wants his Confession to be heard. Is this what is required to assure his salvation? If he is too weak to go into detail, I know the priest would be able to walk him through the sacrament with yes's and no's.
At the moment, he is at a critical stage, and the doctors have said he may be hours / days from slipping into a coma, his body has begun the process of shutting down and the cancer has spread everywhere, bar an all out miracle there is absolutely no prospect of recovery. The cancer has been spreading for years. Had he been spoken to about Confession before this turn for the worse, he would have told us in a not very nice way where to go, if you get my drift, but I am hopeful that now that Death is staring him in the face he will repent.
So my questions again - is the sacrament of the Last Rites enough, given the circumstances I explained above, or should I pursue my idea of getting a priest to offer to hear his Confession? He may well refuse, but at least the offer will have been made.
Please, I would be so grateful for your advice. I am reminded of the Little Flower who prayed for a notorious unrepentant murderer facing the death penalty who at the last moment kissed a crucifix.